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The PCH and Public Restrooms

Harvard, Illinois
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53 posts
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The PCH and Public Restrooms

I am planning a day trip from San Francisco to Carmel along the PCH. I have been searching in vain for information on public restrooms along the way. I know it can be very slow going on this highway and am concerned about places to "stop". I see that there are some State Parks, but most are well off the highway, and cost money.

Can anyone advise if there are places other than State Parks - I am not adverse to an outhouse - when ya gotta go, ya gotta go!

Any help would be appreciated - thanks in advance

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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1. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

Humm, good question -- there are no rest stops as far as I know as they are along an Interstate but there are a few smal and not so small l citiies enroute from Moss Beach, Half Moon Bay and Pescadero to name a few. There are state beaches along the way on Hwy 1 that have rest rooms. Now yes they do cost money to use the beach but perhaps the ranger may let you use the facility or ask you to purchase a day pass (which I doubt)

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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2. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

There are plenty of gas stations, you'll see them throughout the drive, every couple of minutes or so. All gas stations have public restrooms.

Lassen National...
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3. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

You can walk into State Parks for free. It costs to drive in. I hope travelers support our State Parks though. You can buy one pass and use them at all the State Parks for the day.

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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4. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

Gas stations along that stretch every couple of minutes really ?

As far as parks go there is a combination of state parks and county parks but I am sure you can just walk to the beach restroom for no charge.

Edited: 05 July 2012, 16:26
Anaheim, California
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5. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

Have to agree, "every couple of minutes or so". NO WAY!!!

Yes, there are times that you can find Gas Stations, Fast Food places, etc... But there are times where you will have NOTHING but beautiful scenery for an hour or so....

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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6. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

You can also use the facilities in any number of fast food restaurants.

There's a Burger King in Half Moon Bay, as well as a number of places along Business Highway 1 in Santa Cruz.

SF to Carmel is only a 3 hour drive, so you shouldn't need to make too many rest stops along the way.

Harvard, Illinois
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7. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

Thank you everyone for your help. I will try the walk into a park or beach if need be. Otherwise, just purchase a day pass as suggested.

Unfortunately, I have MS, so a 3 hour ride CAN be very long time to go without a bathroom.. plus I am planning on making stops along the way of course for the scenery-which is the whole purpose of my trip. It has been 25 years since I drove from San Fran to San Diego (taking several days of course!) and I remember the breathtaking views along the way - especially the northern stretch.

Thanks everyone!!!!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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8. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

The $10 fee is valid for every CA State Park for one day. So if you're planning to stop often on your scenic drive down the Cabrillo Highway (most commonly called Hwy 1) from San Francisco down to Carmel, pay at the first State Park and just use the pass for the entire day. Definitely visit Point Lobos!

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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9. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

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Edited: 05 July 2012, 19:26
San Francisco Bay
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10. Re: The PCH and Public Restrooms

You will not have to buy a day pass for bathroom purposes only. In the stretch of Hwy 1 that is in San Mateo County there are beaches just off the highway, with outhouses that you can park right by. You will see the turnouts marked with the beach name, like "Bean Hollow Beach". And then you turn in pretty quickly.

You can also use fast food restaurants or gas stations at Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Moss Beach. Really, this should not be a problem.